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Hair ThinningCurly Hair

How to Deal With Thinning Curly Hair

Discover how to look after thinning curly hair with Nioxin. Get all the tips you need - from hairstyles for thin curly hair, to how to brush curly hair. Learn more.

If your curly hair is starting to thin, you're not alone. Curly hair is often more prone to thinning, which can be hard to manage. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce thinning and keep your natural curls looking their best, including eating the right diet and following an effective hair care routine.

But before we dive into how to look after thinning curly hair, let's discover what the causes of hair thinning are.

The Causes of Hair Thinning

There are many possible causes for hair thinning, but here are just a few of the most common to give you an idea of why you might be dealing with this issue.

Androgenetic Alopecia

Androgenetic Alopecia is a prevalent form of hair loss and affects both men and women. A mix of hormones, genetics and age often triggers this type of hair loss. For some people, androgenetic alopecia may only have a small impact, but it can be extremely distressing for others.

Hair loss can occur on any area of the scalp but is typically visible on either side of the forehead or around the crown, leaving bald patches or receding hairlines in some cases. This is also sometimes known as patterned baldness.


Stress can cause hair thinning as a result of imbalanced hormone levels. When the body is under emotional stress, it releases a hormone called cortisol which has been linked to hair loss.

Hair thinning due to stress is often referred to as telogen effluvium. This is when the hair growth cycle for your hair is thrown out of balance, causing more strands to be pushed into the resting phase instead of growing. Additionally, prolonged periods of stress can lead to unhealthy habits such as poor or lack of sleeping or eating right, which can further contribute to hair thinning.

Nutrition and Diet

One of the most important factors when it comes to hair loss is diet and nutrition. Research heavily suggests that nutrition and diet can lead to hair loss. Specifically, deficiencies in iron, vitamin D, protein, and other essential nutrients are connected to hair loss. Diets that provide insufficient amounts of healthy fats have also been linked to thinning hair.

It's important to pay attention to what you eat and ensure you eat a balanced diet rich in the necessary minerals and vitamins to keep your hair healthy.

Overbrushing Hair

Overbrushing your hair can cause damage to it over time. It can lead to overworking and drying out your locks, leaving them prone to shedding and breakage. With curly hair, it can create unwanted friction that will agitate the surface of your hair. In other words, excessive brushing breaks down the protein bonds in each strand, leading to split ends and a frazzled appearance.

How to Care For Curly Hair - Your Daily Routine

Whether your hair thinning has been triggered by genetics, diet, or another influence, it's important to maintain a good daily hair care routine.

Your hair goes through a lot in a day, so building good hair care habits can help support your natural healthy hair growth cycle.

How Often Should You Wash Curly Hair?

The question of how often you should wash your hair depends on a few factors, like your hair texture and type.

Curly hair needs to be washed less than straight hair because the sebum (an oily substance produced by your sebaceous glands) cannot cover whole strands due to the 's' or zigzag shape of the coils. So you should wash your hair every few days, depending on how coily it is. For tight curly hair, you only need to wash it once a week, as it tends to hold onto moisture better. When in doubt, it's better to wait until you notice your strands of hair becoming oily or dry before washing them.

It's best to avoid over-washing as this can dry out your curls and make them look limp. Instead, use shampoos that are designed to moisturize your hair. You may also want to increase the number of conditioning treatments you use to ensure you properly avoid dry hair.

Cleanse Regularly

A clean scalp helps keep your curls looking healthy. A mix of dirt, oil and product build-up can clog pores around the scalp and may contribute to flakes and itchiness. A cleansing shampoo is ideal since it removes build-up without stripping too much moisture from the scalp.

How to Dry Curly Hair and Avoid Damage

For those with curly hair, drying it can be tricky. But by following a few simple steps, you can achieve bouncy curls:

1. Wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner formulated for thinning hair.

2. Once out of the shower, dab your hair dry with an absorbent towel instead of rough squeezing or rubbing - this will help maintain the shape of the curls.

3. Apply a leave-in hair thickening treatment before diffusing your hair on low heat or air-drying. Diffusing will protect each curl while allowing it to dry naturally. When using a diffuser, scrunch your locks up and avoid pressing down on them, as this could create frizz and damage.

Avoid Heat

Over-processing curly hair with heat damages each strand, leaving them vulnerable to breakage and split ends which will only accelerate thinning further. If absolutely necessary due to styling needs, then always use a heat-protecting spray before thermal styling. They offer additional protection against future damage over time when used correctly.

How to Safely Brush Curly Hair

Brushing curly hair is a bit more complicated than brushing straight hair. To start, it's important to choose the right type of brush. Never use a brush with metal bristles on curly hair, as this can cause damage and breakage. Instead, opt for a wide-toothed comb or boar bristle brush, which won't pull or tug at your curls.

When brushing, start from the scalp towards the ends while focusing on just a few strands of curls at a time. For tightly coiled curls, you may need to use both your fingers and brush/comb to gently detangle them without causing breakage and pulling on the hair follicles. 

How to Sleep With Curly Hair

Curly hair can be challenging to manage, especially when trying to get a good night's sleep. To keep your curls looking bouncy the next morning, there are some tips you can follow:

  • Avoid sleeping directly on your hair, as this will create an uncomfortable pressure point on the scalp and cause your curls to lose their shape.

  • Consider using a satin or silk pillowcase, as these materials reduce friction and allow your curls to slide onto the surface without tangling or frizzing.

  • Applying a light leave-in night-time treatment before bed to boost hair density and leave your scalp feeling refreshed.

  • For people with longer hair, tying it into a loose bun can stop it from getting moved around and pulled in the night.

Discover A Great Style For Your Hair

Finding a hairstyle that works for you can depend on the thickness and type of your hair. There are different hair types, with the numbering system from type 1 to type 4. Type 1 is made up of people with straight hair, while type 2 is for people with wavy hair.

Type 3 Hair

Types 3A, 3B, and 3C all represent different varieties of curly hair:


  • 3A is a general term for looser S-shaped curls. This type is typically the easiest to style without pulling on your hair.

    • Women with 3A hair types are fairly flexible regarding what hairstyles they can try. For short hair, a wavy bob will add volume and moisture to your hair. And for longer hair, layered waves are a great way to take advantage of your naturally S-shaped hair while also adding volume.

    • For men with 3A hair, their natural waves work perfectly with styles shorter at the side and longer on top, like curly undercuts, short crops or mullets. Fades at the side of your hair can be a great way to hide any particularly thin or balding patches.


  • 3B has a tighter coil pattern than type 3A, creating more defined hair ranging from light spirals and ringlets to tight corkscrew curls. When styling type 3B hair, it's important to find options that aren't going to pull too much.

    • Women looking for some 90s nostalgia should try out bubble-braid pigtails. These simple braids look time-consuming but are very quick and easy to do at home. Simply create two ponytails on each side of your hair. Then, section each ponytail into 3-6 sections (depending on length) using ties. Then puff up each section and secure loose strands to finish. These are a good alternative to traditional braids and won't pull as hard on your hair.

    • Men with short curly hair may want to embrace their natural messy curls or try some side fading. For long 3B hair, they may want to try putting their hair up into a messy, loose bun. Depending on where you're seeing hair thinning, try leaving the bottom of your hair or a fringe open to add volume.


  • 3C is much tighter than both types 3A and 3B. It's made up of layers of big corkscrews like coils - it's usually the most difficult to manage without pulling, but it can also have great hold when styled correctly.

    • For women, a simple curly ponytail can be a good way to take advantage of this natural hold easily. Achieve this by pulling your hair up into a loose ponytail at the back of your head. Keep it in place and accessorize with a hair band or headwrap, which can also be used to cover any thinning areas.

    • For men, simply untangling and layering your hair in the morning is a straightforward way to add extra volume to thinning hair without spending hours styling it every day. This naturally messy look is easy to maintain and great for your hair.

Type 4 Hair

Types 4A, 4B, and 4C are also all different types of curly hair. Like 3C, they all feature tightly coiled curls. 4A has the least tight coils, while 4C has the tightest curls.

The main distinction between these hair types is the amount of moisture they need to receive. All three types could benefit from using the Nioxin Anti-Breakage Strengthening Mask at least monthly for type 4A. More regular use could benefit types 4B and 4C, which can become particularly dry and fragile. It's a deep penetrating hair mask, meaning it can moisturize even the tightest curls, letting you style your hair more easily and with less damage.

Women's Type 4 Styles

Classic styles for women with short type 4 hair include pixie cuts and tapered fades. Layered styles can maximize the volume of your hair, even if it isn't very long.

Women with long type 4 hair may want to try out a side ponytail or fluffy buns, which let you take advantage of your hair's naturally-strong hold. For buns, use a hair donut to gain deceptively thick hair and some extra height.

Men's Type 4 Styles

For both long and short hair, type 4 men's hairstyles are all about creating as much volume as possible without using a comb (which can create a lot of frizz). This means either trying out short styles, like the regulation cut, or taking the time to diffuse longer hair into strands.

Find a Specialized Hair Care Routine

Working out the right hair care routine for you can be difficult, but Nioxin's System Kits are made to match your hair wherever you are on your hair journey.

They're specially formulated to combat hair thinning by cleansing, conditioning and treating your scalp and hair. With the kits ranging from System Kit 1 to System Kit 4, find the one best suited to your hair type to help you achieve thicker, healthier hair.


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